Lumix is Panasonic's brand of digital cameras, ranging from pocket point-and-shoot models to digital SLRs.
Compact digital cameras DMC-LC5 and DMC-F7 were the first products of the Lumix series, released in 2001. They are equipped with Leica lenses.
Indeed, many Lumix models are fitted with Leica lenses, designed by Leica's German optical engineers, and are assembled in Japan. Others are rebranded as Leica cameras with different cosmetic stylings. Leica had a similar relationship with Minolta in the past, where late model Leica SLRs (and some 35Â mm point-and-shoot models) were strongly based on Minolta bodies.
Most Lumix cameras use differing releases of the Panasonic Venus Engine for digital image processing; the original version (2002) was followed by II (2004), Plus (2005), III (2006), IV (2008), HD, V (2009), and VI, HD II, FHD (2010).
Panasonic produces most of Leica's branded digital point and shoot cameras in Japan, but not film cameras, the Leica M8 or Leica M9 digital rangefinder cameras, the X1 and X2 digital cameras or the Digital Modul R digital camera back for the Leica R9 film SLR.
Panasonic showed a prototype of a planned 3D Lumix camera in September 2011, saying that it would have twin 4x zoom lenses with folding optics and optical image stabilization for both video and still images.
Some cameras are available in a choice of colour, indicated by a suffix letter: K is black, S silver, A blue, R red, W white. Most lower-priced modelss have small sensors of about 10.2Â mm / 1/2.5". More expensive ones often have sensors of about twice the area, 14.1Â mm to 15.4Â mm / 1/1.65" to 1/1.8". dSLRs and Micro Four Thirds cameras have much larger sensors. Larger sensors produce a better image signal-to-noise ratio and better dynamic range. The GH series of Micro Four Thirds cameras have a unique "multi-aspect" sensor, that is larger than the lens image circle. This allows three different aspect ratios, 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9, to be used natively. As a result, the image diagonal remains the same in all three aspect ratios and provides full coverage of the sensor, and a larger field of view with higher resolution than one would get by simply cropping the 4:3 aspect to the narrower ratios.
- DMC-FX: ultra-compact high-end, relatively typical cameras. Unlike most of the other Lumix lines, the FX series tends to have a more stylish look (as opposed to the generic silver or black), targeted at social photography. The FX30 was announced as the world's slimmest camera with a 28Â mm equivalent wide-angle lens. The FX500 is the first Panasonic to feature a touch-screen interface.
- DMC-FZx (excluding DMC-FZx0 models): compact ultra-zoom higher-end cameras. These cameras are described as compact but are relatively large, have extensive controls (although models earlier than the FZ7 do not have manual focus), and long zoom ranges, typically 12x with extending zoom lens.
- DMC-FZxx: bridge digital cameras, resemble digital SLRs in many ways, but have a non-interchangeable, non-extending zoom lens. The FZ70/72 bridge camera is as large and heavy as a medium sized DSLR, has a 1/2.3" sensor, a very wide zoom range (20-1200mm, 60x) and extensive manual controls, including fully manual focus, and zoom rings on the lens. FZ1000 uses a 1" sensor (as does the Sony RX10). Compared to the RX10, the FZ1000 can shoot 4K video, is priced considerably lower and has double the optical zoom, but no built-in ND Filter and no fixed aperture.
- DMC-G: Micro Four Thirds System line, advertised as a "reinvented D-SLR" without mirror.
- DMC-L: DSLR line. It uses the Four Thirds System lens mount and, along with the Olympus E-330, was one of the first DSLRs capable of displaying live image view on the LCD screen.
- DMC-LS: cheapest line, budget plastic compact cameras powered by two AA batteries.
- DMC-LX: compact high-end camera line, with full manual exposure and focus controls (with joystick control rather than focus ring), and RAW recording, unusual in compact cameras.
- DMC-LZ: budget, but more advanced and with more user control than many other digital compact cameras. The most notable feature is a 5x (37â"222Â mm) optical zoom range.
- DMC-SZ: mid-level compact superzoom cameras. SZ-series stands for "style zoom". Introduced in January 2012, these cameras use the 25Â mm ultra-wide angle LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR lens, have a 10x optical zoom, and shoot high definition video. Models include the SZ1, SZ5, and SZ7.
- DMC-TS / DMC-FT: waterproof, shockproof, and dustproof point and shoot cameras.
- DMC-TZ: compact, point and shoot 20x zoom cameras with image stabilization. The TZ1 uses folded optics, with a prism. TZ1's successors use a traditional design without folded optics, hence the barrel extends further out during operation. The TZ series stands out against other compact digital cameras by achieving a 20x optical zoom with a 28Â mm wide angle lens (equivalent to 35Â mm camera) in a small compact body.
- DMC-ZS: compact ultra-zoom high-end (offering HD video) cameras. Announced in January 2009 as a successor to the successful TZ series. It is distinguished by having high-grade still shooting and offering HD video functions. The ZS3 is advertised as "the world's first digital camera that records motion image in AVCHD Lite", records 720p HD video with stereo audio and has a dedicated video record button replacing ZR1's "extended zoom" button.
- DMC-FS: ultra-compact mid-range, relatively typical cameras. The FS range was launched in January 2008.
- DMC-LC: medium-compact-size, mid-range, but also included high-end models.
Leica model crossover
Some Panasonic and Leica cameras are the same. The differences, other than the obvious exterior styling, are in the camera firmware. Different application software is also supplied by the two companies with the cameras. Claims regarding differing quality control or weatherproofing are unsubstantiated.
The Leica and Panasonic cameras produce the same RAW image, but will process white balance, noise reduction, etc. differently for JPEG output. Lumix cameras are two or three times less expensive than their Leica counterparts due to the huge difference in brand prestige.
Panasonic Lumix sponsors German football player Marco Reus of German Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund and Germany.
In Japan, pop singer Ayumi Hamasaki promotes the Lumix cameras with her songs. She announced on May 8, 2007, that Panasonic would be releasing an Ayumi Hamasaki x Hello Kitty x Lumix collaboration camera, a Lumix FX-30 which sells for Â¥54600 (about US$455). Recently Hamasaki promoted the Lumix FX 40. Hong Kong actress and singer Karena Lam also appeared in a local Hong Kong Panasonic commercial for the now discontinued FX01.